Following the heinous act of an 18-year-old man killing ten people in a Buffalo, New York grocery store, Joe Biden declared that the mass shooting to be a “racially motivated act of white supremacy and violent extremism.” Not only was the suspect described as a “white male,” but an extensive manifesto was found that shared several white supremacist views. Wearing tactical gear, fashioned with an assault rifle, and even live streaming the shooting, 11 of the victims shot were black. The shooter was identified as Payton Gendron.

Biden called for the country to work together to address the hate. 

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During a National Peace Officers’ Memorial Service speech, Biden said, “A lone gunman armed with weapons of war and a hate-filled soul shot and killed 10 innocent people in cold blood at a grocery store on Saturday afternoon. Jill and I, like all of you, pray for the victims and the families and a devastated community. I’ve been receiving updates from my team in the White House that’s in close contact with the Justice Department.”

Biden added, “We’re still gathering the facts, but already the Justice Department has stated publicly that it is investigating the matter as a hate crime, a racially motivated act of white supremacy and violent extremism. As they do, we must all work together to address the hate that remains a stain on the soul of America. Hearts are heavy once again, but our resolve must never, ever waver. No one understands this more than the people sitting in front of me – moms, dads, children, family members— about how those folks in Buffalo feel today when they got the call.” 

Discussing the mass shooting, co-founder of the Global Project Against Hate and Extremism, Heidi Beirich, told reporters, “It is the most mass-violence-inspiring idea in white supremacist circles right now. This particular idea has superseded almost everything else in white supremacist circles to become the unifying idea across borders.”

On Tuesday, Biden is set to visit the area. He said, “A racially motivated hate crime is abhorrent to the very fabric of this nation. Any act of domestic terrorism, including an act perpetrated in the name of a repugnant white nationalist ideology, is antithetical to everything we stand for in America. Hate must have no safe harbor. We must do everything in our power to end hate-fueled domestic terrorism.”

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This piece was written by Jeremy Porter on May 16, 2022. It originally appeared in and is used by permission.

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